Wind Creek Hospitality Closes on Sands Bethlehem Purchase

ATMORE, Ala., June 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- PCI Gaming Authority D/B/A Wind Creek Hospitality (WCH), an authority of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, has finalized the purchase of the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for a total enterprise value of $1.3 billion.  The property will be rebranded as Wind Creek Bethlehem (WCB).

WCB will welcome guests to the upscale, Las Vegas-style resort, located in the heart of the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, approximately 80 miles from New York City.  Amenities currently include a 282-room AAA four diamond hotel, a 183,000 square foot casino floor featuring 3,000 slots and electronic table games, 200 table games, numerous food and beverage outlets, a 150,000 square foot retail mall, and a multi-purpose event center. 

Over time, WCH plans to invest an estimated $340 million in updating and expanding the property to include construction of a 300-room hotel adjacent to the casino; a 300,000 square foot adventure and water park at the existing No. 2 Machine Shop Bethlehem Steel site; and a 400-to-450-room hotel adjacent to the adventure park. All expected to bring additional jobs, tourism and economic growth to Lehigh Valley.  

WCH President/CEO, James Dorris commented "One of the things that drew us to this property is the quality and experience of the service-minded employees. Each of the nine executives has accepted a multi-year contract with us and we hope that all team members want to continue their work here as part of the Wind Creek family. We will need them as we grow the offerings at Wind Creek Bethlehem. "

The purchase of its largest property to date provides a significant opportunity for WCH to diversify its holdings as well and to offer the Wind Creek Rewards program and online WindCreekCasino.com to millions of new customers. Travel perks offered by the Wind Creek Rewards program to some of the most alluring resorts in the Caribbean: Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino and Renaissance Curacao Resort and Casino, both owned by WCH, are expected to be particularly appealing escapes for WCB customers during the cold winter months.  

Wind Creek Hospitality funded the acquisition with a combination of existing cash on its balance sheet and new debt financing.  Credit Suisse has provided financing for the transaction.  Wind Creek Hospitality anticipates that the additional cash flow resulting from the acquisition will allow it to pay down debt on an accelerated basis after closing. Innovation Capital, LLC is exclusive financial advisor and Cooper Levenson P.A. is legal counsel to Wind Creek Hospitality in connection with the transaction.

About Wind Creek Hospitality
Wind Creek Hospitality is an authority of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.  Wind Creek Hospitality manages the Tribe's gaming facilities including: Wind Creek Atmore, Wind Creek Wetumpka, Wind Creek Montgomery, Wa She Shu Casino in Nevada, Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino as well as racetracks in Alabamaand Florida.  For more information, visit: https://windcreekhospitality.com/.

About the Poarch Band of Creek Indians
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is the only federally recognized Indian Tribe in the state of Alabama, operating as a sovereign nation with its own system of government and bylaws.  The Tribe operates a variety of economic enterprises, which employ thousands of area residents.  For more information, visit: www.pci-nsn.gov.

Photos and renderings: 
https://windcreekhospitality.com/media-room/media-releases

‘Good interest’ reported as judge clears way for Lucky Dragon bids | Matt Sodl

PRESS RELEASE: ‘Good interest’ reported as judge clears way for Lucky Dragon bids

LAS VEGAS- (Eli Segall, Las Vegas Review-Journal) -- A judge approved bid procedures this week for the bankrupt Lucky Dragon, clearing the way for a potential sale of the off-Strip resort.

Lucky Dragon developer Andrew Fonfa said in a phone interview Thursday that he just got back from Beijing, which “gives you an idea of some of the investment groups I’ve been talking to,” and added that he expects to pick a group “to move forward with” by the end of June.

The bid procedures were approved Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Fonfa’s group said in court papers last month that the bankruptcy casewas “a straight forward hotel and casino sale” designed to pay its largest creditor in full and preserve jobs.

In the phone interview, Fonfa did not defintively state whether his group wants to sell the boutique hotel outright or just land a new partner, saying the owners want to “restructure and reorganize … around the sales process.” But he said the Lucky Dragon has “a lot of interested parties.”

Innovation Capital founding partner Matt Sodl, the hotel’s financial advisor, said Thursday that he’s “seeing good interest” in the property.

Lookers include groups from Asia and the United States, he said, though he declined to say whether any Las Vegas-based casino operators were in the mix.

Court records show Fonfa’s group planned to sell the Lucky Dragon at a hearing July 20. Qualified bidders would have to submit, among other things, a $2.5 million deposit and evidence of a “sufficient” management team and business plan.

Sodl said he couldn’t disclose what the hotel’s opening bid might be.

The Lucky Dragon, 300 W. Sahara Ave., was the first hotel-casino built from the ground up in Las Vegas since the recession. With a nine-story hotel and a 27,500-square-foot casino in separate buildings, it opened in November 2016 but had a brutal start.

The owners struggled to draw big crowds, shed staff, temporarily closedthe casino and restaurants, faced foreclosure, and then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection three months ago.

Lucky Dragon’s developers and their lender Snow Covered Capital have submitted wildly different valuations of the property. Fonfa’s group said in court papers that it’s worth $143 million, but Snow, linked to San Francisco real estate investor Enrique Landa, said it obtained an appraisal that valued it at $60 million.

Snow Covered Capital was owed almost $50 million when Fonfa, founder of ASF Realty & Investments, pushed the Lucky Dragon into bankruptcy.

 

Source: https://www.reviewjournal.com/business/casinos-gaming/good-interest-reported-as-judge-clears-way-for-lucky-dragon-bids/